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Some Killer, Some Filler
on 10 April 2008
I've loved The Six since I first heard them and this is another fine slice of their wonderful blend of rock, pop and more danceable grooves.
This album is however arguably their most "difficult" and least accessible to date. I fight shy of using the word "weakest" as I think that unfair on the highlights of this album which are many and are up to the usual high standards, but it's fair to say that it could use a bit of selective trimming. It seems longer than the other records and unfortunately out of the 16 or so tracks there are at least three that could be considered filler(including lacklustre opener "It's Showtime!"). This is definitely one of those times where less would have been more, and a shorter 12 track album would have benefitted all concerned.
Still enough of the griping, this is still a very good record with much to commend it. The sound has been reinvigorated and the boys are broadening their pallet again. The combination of their ear for a killer hook and Dick Valnetines often disturbed and disturbing semi-comedic lyrics still conspire to you ending up with snatches of songs that you might no want to sing in polite company buzzing round your brain.
The best tracks include the insanely catchy "Down At McDonnelzzz" which by rights should have been a massive single but may fall foul of a well-known fast-food chain's legal eagles, which boasts not only a humdinger of a fast-talking chorus but also a great call-and-response hook in the pre-chorus "My People need a place to go...GO!" on top of a cool Keyboard riff.
"Danse Pattern" is a great track that is closest to an archetypal Electric Six effort. "Riding On The White Train" also mines a similar vein very successfully.
"When I Get To The Green Building" is a slower effort with an almost hypnotic simple fuzzy riff, which is not only good ear candy but is also oddly emotive.
"Kukuxumushu" is simply a brilliant pop song that is a personal favourite of mine and also by my reckoning at least the third song in the band's catalogue today that makes use of the lyric "Oh My God!" as part of one of the main hooks. It is another example of Dick Valentine's ability to mix nonsensical lyrics and heartfelt sentiments seemlessly in the same song.
"Lenny Kravitz" is a great song that may take a couple of plays before it's treasures become apparent and has nothing much to do with the titular retro-rocker other than a complete non-sequitor in the lyrics "and I have never understood why anyone likes Lenny Kravitz", but is still more interesting that anything Mr.Kravitz has put his name to for many a long year and as such he should probably just be grateful for the publicity!
There are other moments to please you as well, but until you sort the wheat for the chaff over a couple of spins, it can be a bit hard going.
If you are already a Six fan purchase without fear. If you are new to them you are probably better of buying "Sénor Smoke" or "Switzerland".